drab

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dribs and drabs

Insignificant, skimpy, and/or piecemeal amounts. A: "Have you been able to get any work lately?" B: "Just some dribs and drabs to keep me ticking along, but nothing substantial."
See also: and, drab, drib

in dribs and drabs

Periodically in very small amounts; bit by bit. Information was relayed to us in dribs and drabs, but it was hours before we got the whole story of what had happened. The return on your investment will come in dribs and drabs at first, but you'll see a more steady flow of income later.
See also: and, drab, drib

in dribs and drabs

in small portions; bit by bit. I'll have to pay you what I owe you in dribs and drabs. The whole story is being revealed in dribs and drabs.
See also: and, drab, drib

dribs and drabs

Bits and pieces, negligible amounts, as in There's not much left, just some dribs and drabs of samples. The noun drib is thought to be a shortening of driblet, for "drop" or "tiny quantity," dating from the early 1700s, whereas drab meaning "a small sum of money" dates from the early 1800s.
See also: and, drab, drib

in ˌdribs and ˈdrabs

(informal) in small amounts or numbers: People started arriving in dribs and drabs from nine o’clock onwards.He paid back the money in dribs and drabs.
See also: and, drab, drib

in dribs and drabs

mod. in small portions; bit by bit. I’ll have to pay you what I owe you in dribs and drabs.
See also: and, drab, drib
References in periodicals archive ?
It was the one cake guaranteed to brighten up the drabbest maiden aunt's tea table in the monochrome Britain of the Fifties and Sixties.
But remember, colour is key to tiling and whether you go for a bold statement or just a splash of colour, tiles have the ability to brighten up even the drabbest of bathrooms.
Gloucestershire breezed to 41 in their second innings before four wickets fell for 12 runs in the space of 28 balls to breathe some life into the drabbest of contests.
With none of the Big Four playing today it promises to be the drabbest Match Of The Day since last week.
How on earth did this side play out the drabbest of 0-0 derby draws with Middlesbrough only five days previously?
Yet four days later they were booed off by the same people after the drabbest of goalless draws with Blackpool - their third in a row in the league.
You don't need to wash your hair to look good in them and the simple act of buying one pair can make the drabbest day seem good.
Chelsea's away strip certainly has to be the drabbest kit in the Premiership and they put in a first-half performance to match.
Cinematically, this is Milos Forman's drabbest and least inventive film; even the late-'70s-mid-'80s period details seem rote, as if Forman has gone to the well of American culture's recent past once too often.
Any fantasies of a quaint, antiseptically clean Scandinavia are ground into muck; Sletaune must have gone out of his way to film at the city's drabbest, most depressing locations.
They can be used to cover up any bare soil between mature shrubs with classic plant combinations such as Bergenia crassifolia, Erica x darleyensis - known as Arthur Johnson - and Hedera colchica, or Sulphur Heart, to create impact at the drabbest time of the year.
England captain Andrew Strauss described it as one of the drabbest Tests he had ever been involved in to becoming one the most extraordinary.
EVEN in rehearsals, there's a subtle dazzle emanating from Vasily Petrenko that sprinkles a shower of that elusive X Factor dust around the drabbest of rooms, infusing a lightness of mood to a chat with the young Russian maestro about his thoughts on China, where earlier this week he arrived for a series of concerts.
The Roma ultras staged an inspirational display of fanatical support that would make the drabbest of games intimidating and absorbing
But for Cinderella Man it would have definitely been a case of keeping off the pies to prepare for the role of Mae Braddock, the Depression-era wife and mother making ends meet for her family in the most destitute of circumstances (and the drabbest of cardigans) while her husband slowly but surely willed his way to become one of the most inspirational sports legends in American history.